Defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) will be in action against the five-time champions Mumbai Indians (MI) in the second qualifier of the IPL 2023 playoffs at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday. GT lost the first qualifier to CSK in Chennai but will be keen to prove that it was just a blip with a win against MI at home. GT reached the playoffs by topping the table after the league stage after winning 10 of their 14 games and are vying for a second consecutive IPL final. The Hardik Pandya-led side have been the best team in the tournament so far and still have a great chance of retaining their title.
Through the league stage GT beat CSK, DC, PBKS, KKR, RR, MI, SRH, RCB once and LSG on both occasions. While they lost to KKR, RR, MI and DC, they bounced back after every loss and immediately reiterated their title-winning credentials. In the first qualifier against CSK, the bowlers did well to restrict CSK to 172/7 but the batters wilted under the pressure from the CSK bowlers on a slow and dry pitch and GT eventually lost the game by 15 runs. They will be looking for an all-round performance against MI to set up the final against CSK in Ahmedabad.
Shubman Gill is the top run-getter for GT this season, he has scored 722 runs so far including two centuries and four half-centuries. He is only eight runs away from becoming the highest run-getter in IPL 2023. Saha has scored 299 runs, while Vijay Shankar and David Miller have scored 301 and 259 runs respectively so far this season. Hardik Pandya has contributed 297 runs so far. Sai Sudharsan has also chipped in with 223 runs in only six innings this season. Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan and Abhinav Manohar have also played some important knocks for the team.
The GT batters had a rare off day in the first qualifier and will be desperate to put their poor performance against CSK behind them against MI. The bowlers have been brilliant all season for GT. Mohammed Shami is the top wicket-taker in the IPL this season with 26 scalps, Rashid Khan is second on the list with 25 wickets.
Alzarri Joseph has taken 7 wickets but has lost his place in the line-up to Noor Ahmed in the latter stages of the tournament. Ahmed has been brilliant so far, picking up 14 wickets in eleven games at an economy of 7. Mohit Sharma has also picked up 19 wickets at an economy of eight. Josh Little has also chipped in with important wickets for the team. Abhinav Manohar is expected to return to the side in place of Shanaka as the Sri Lankan all-rounder has not had the desired impact in the last few games and Josh Little or Yash Dayal could replace Darshan Nalkande in the bowling unit. Sai Sudharsan, Josh Little and Jayant Yadav, Yash Dayal, Dasun Shanaka are all Impact player options for GT.
GT’s predicted XI vs MI:
Openers: Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wk).
Top and Middle order: David Miller, Vijay Shankar, Abhinav Manohar.
All-rounders: Hardik Pandya (c), Rashid Khan, Rahul Tewatia.
Bowlers: Mohammed Shami, Noor Ahmed, Mohit Sharma.
Impact Player: For GT, their Impact Player options are Sai Sudharsan, Josh Little, Jayant Yadav, Yash Dayal and Dasun Shanaka.